Maintaining the Right Temperature in a Wine Fridge

As a dedicated lover of grapes, you know your wines thrive at different temperatures. Before ordering a wine fridge, you want to know you are making the right choice. You need to know everything about insulated wine coolers and how to use them correctly.

Best Wine Storage Temperatures

Unless you’re planning to open the bottle the day you get it, having proper storage for your wine is a must. Poorly stored wine loses flavour or oxidation if the cork dries out. Cool and constant are vital for maintaining the right conditions. Storage temperatures of wines are different to serving to help maintain longevity. Red wines prefer the 12-19˚C, whites like 8-12˚C, while your sparkling bottles thrive in the 5-8˚C bracket. This is the area where wine fridges with dual temperature zones come into their own. Check your fridge’s temperature gauge regularly to ensure it stays constant. Temperature fluctuations are the curse of the wine world. Bottles should always be stored on their sides, keeping the cork moist and preventing drying out and crumbling. Screwtop wines can be stored vertically and, despite protests to the contrary, can be successfully aged.

Best Wine Serving Temperatures

As anyone who has experienced the flat disappointment of wine at the wrong temperature agrees, perfectly chilled wine is the epitome of joy in a glass. Ports prefer the warmer end of the scale, with 19˚C being prime. On the other extreme are the champagnes and sparkling wines around. White wines are served cooler than reds, and 7-13 ˚C suits them best, with minor variations. As a rule of thumb, lighter, sweeter wines do best in the lower range, with fuller-bodied whites showing their splendour at the higher end. Reds are served slightly warmer, allowing their depth of flavour and aroma to shine. Like white wine, lighter-bodied reds are served at the cooler end of the range. Medium and full-bodied reds are at their peak between 15-18°C, with the lighter reds preferring around 13 or 14 ˚C.

Serving or Storing Temperatures

This is entirely a matter of personal choice. If you entertain regularly, it would be natural to have most of your collection kept at serving temperatures. This range is still fine for short-term storage and will keep your wines ready to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice. You can dedicate one section to storing those special bottles if you have a dual or multi-temperature zone fridge. If your wine fridge has only one temperature setting, the decision must be made between storing and serving. This would entail setting the thermometer to the ideal temperature for your wine. This is a difficult choice for wine lovers who want to keep and enjoy their collections. If there is no space or budget for a larger, multi-temperature model, consider buying another small, single temperature unit. This can be dedicated exclusively to serving or storage. Wine fridges come in a large range of sizes and prices, so this is an economical way to have what you want until you can get what you love. As Napoleon said, “In victory, you deserve champagne. In defeat, you need it.”

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